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Electrochemical Energy Laboratory

The focus of the lab is

  1. to develop new materials for highly-efficient electrochemical energy conversion and storage,
  2. to study how material property and structure affect the electrochemical reaction process, and
  3. to understand the behavior of different materials in electrochemical reactions through computational simulation and material characterization. These include:
    • Nano Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage - The power density and energy density of electrochemical energy conversion and storage, including batteries and fuel cells, are highly dependent on electrode materials. Particle size, surface morphology, and crystal structure of these nanomaterials play a key role in determining the overall electrode performance. Processes for synthesizing highly dispersed nanoparticles are being developed in the Electrochemical Energy Lab.
    • Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs) - DMFCs are promising candidates as future power sources for portable electronics due to high energy density and easy handling. The technical challenges include high methanol crossover through the polymer electrolyte membrane and sluggish anode and cathode reaction. Current activities include fundamental studies of methanol oxidation and oxygen reduction reactions, development of high-activity nano catalysts, and system optimization.
    • Degradation Studies in Electrochemical Reactions - Studies are focused on capacity fading mechanism in lithium-ion batteries, material corrosion in fuel cells, and electrolyte degradation. Electrochemical and material characterizations are combined with computational modeling to reveal the fundamentals and provide the mitigation strategies.

Personnel

Fuqiang Liu, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

Graduate students

Md. Noor-E-Alam Siddique (Ph.D.) Sonam Patel (M.S.) Arun Kumar Shunmugavelu (Ph.D.) Dong Liu (Ph.D.)

Facilities and Equipment

Electrochemical evaluation of nanoparticles

Full electrochemical system (Solartron 1287A+1260A)
Rotating disk electrode system
 Glove box (for lithium-ion batteries)
·  Materials fabrication

Carver hotpress
Ultrasonic bath
Electrode coating facility
·  Nano fabrication

Nanomaterial fabrication facility set-up in progress
Tube furnace